Steps to Take to Save Energy with Your Heating and Cooling System
Maintaining a comfortable environment in your Toronto home is easier said than done. With the area’s climate, you may find yourself running your HVAC system throughout most of the year. Unfortunately, frequent use of your home’s heating and cooling system can result in expensive energy bills. Do you have to choose between having a comfortable home environment or having manageable energy costs? The good news is that you can take numerous steps around the house to save energy without sacrificing your comfort level.
The Importance of Choosing the Right System for Your Home
Older heating and cooling systems are significantly less energy efficient than today’s models. However, before you decide to retire an older unit, you should assess its efficiency. By inspecting your equipment, you should see a SEER or EER rating displayed on its exterior. If not, you can conduct a quick online search of the model to find this information.
Both the SEER and EER measure energy efficiency, but they have important differences. SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is for central AC systems and heat pumps. The ratio estimates the energy efficiency of the system for a full season across a wide range of temperatures. EER, or energy efficiency ratio, is specifically associated with window AC units. This rating is specifically measured at an air temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Notably, the SEER takes into account the system powering on and off based on the thermostat setting, and the EER assumes that the system will run nonstop.
After determining the energy rating of your current equipment, you can explore other models on the market today. The type of heating and cooling system that you use will directly affect energy consumption and cost. Ductless systems are generally more energy efficient than central systems because of their unique functionality. Before you decide if a ductless heating and cooling system is suitable for your home, you need to understand how it works and how its functionality could yield energy savings.
How Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Save Money
Unlike a central system that maintains the environment throughout the home via a series of ducts, a ductless heating and cooling system targets one area. It has an indoor unit and an outdoor unit that are mounted close to each other on an exterior wall, so ducts are not required. In addition to only heating or cooling the room that you are currently using, you will not have to worry about inefficiencies related to leaking ducts. Overall, ductless heating and cooling systems are more cost-effective because they support optimized energy consumption.
Set Your Thermostat to Save Energy
Regardless of the type of system used in your Toronto home, programming the thermostat settings appropriately is essential. A programmable thermostat enables you to schedule temperature adjustments based on your routine. For example, you may schedule the system to run less frequently during the hours when you are normally away from the house. Frequently making manual adjustments to the settings reduces energy efficiency and can inflate your energy bills. You should readjust the programmed settings based on the season, however. For example, setting a higher temperature in the summer and a lower temperature in the winter can reduce how heavily the system is used.
Adjust Window Treatments to Manage Your Home’s Climate
A significant amount of energy can be lost through your home’s windows, but you can adjust your window treatments throughout the day to minimize the loss. When the sun is shining directly on windows, you can benefit from solar heating by opening the blinds and curtains during the winter months. You can also close the blinds when the sun is shining on the windows during the warm months of the year. Likewise, the window treatments can be used to block sunlight during the warm months and to add a layer of insulation in the winter months.
Identify and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks are common around doors and windows, through the attic and even through the walls when the insulation is inadequate. If your home is using a central heating and cooling system, air leaks in the ducts can also be problematic. Take time to identify all air leaks throughout your home. You can schedule an energy audit for your home to learn about air leaks that you may otherwise not be able to identify on your own. All identified leaks should be sealed promptly. Tasks like installing new weather stripping on the exterior doors and more caulk around the windows may be necessary annually in many homes.
Service Your Heating and Cooling System Regularly
Regardless of the type of heating and cooling system you use, it should be serviced regularly. Depending on the system’s needs, you may need to replace or clean the filters and other components as frequently as every month. You also should schedule professional maintenance service annually. A professional technician can identify developing issues that may decrease efficiency and can address them effectively. As a result, the heating and cooling system can continue to function as efficiently as possible going forward.
Know When to Upgrade Your System
Are you using an older and less efficient system than you could be using in your home? Are you using the wrong type of system based on how you use the different rooms in your home? Upgrading to a ductless heating and cooling system with a higher energy efficiency rating can result in tremendous energy savings throughout the year for some Toronto residents. However, the cost to upgrade must also be taken into account. Generally, newer systems require less repair work and are more reliable. In addition, a ductless system can be installed quickly, so the installation cost is minimized. To make a well-informed decision about how cost-effective it may be to retire an outdated HVAC system, get a quote for the installation of a ductless system.
Your heating and cooling system is a vital component in your Toronto home, but your current system may be using more energy than necessary. After you explore the benefits of upgrading and review your home for thoughtful ways to reduce energy consumption, you may enjoy the benefit of lower energy bills for years to come.